Stock and unfettered by driving laws, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette has a top speed of 194 mph. Texan tuner Hennessey saw this number as a challenge, so it pushed the model beyond the 200-mph barrier for the first time.
The firm sent engineer and racer John Heinricy to the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas, with a modified Corvette in tow. The mechanical changes included adding nitrous boost and a stainless steel exhaust system to generously increase the 6.2-liter V8 engine's output from 490 to 650 horsepower. Hennessey also removed the Corvette's rear wing to reduce drag before letting it loose on the facility's 8.5-mile main track.
Heinricy — who played a role in developing several Corvette variants before he retired from General Motors — reached a GPS-verified 205 mph, a figure that makes Hennessey's hot-rodded Corvette the fastest eighth-generation model yet. The high-speed run allowed the tuner to push its newest exhaust system to the limit.
Hennessey won't stop at 205 mph. In 2019, the tuner announced plans to offer a supercharger that unlocks 700 horsepower, and a twin-turbocharger setup that gives enthusiasts 1,200 horsepower to play with. Achieving the latter number requires making modifications to the engine to help it cope with the power, and installing an upgraded version of the stock dual-clutch automatic transmission. Pricing hasn't been announced yet.
Chevrolet isn't sitting still, either. It's keeping details about future Corvette variants close to its chest, but leaked documents outline several upcoming variants ranging from a 600-horsepower Grand Sport to a gasoline-electric, Zora-branded model with at least 1,000 horsepower and 975 pound-feet of torque on tap.